Monday, May 19, 2008

Another weekend full of riding

Monday morning came early after this weekend, but thankfully I'm working from home so I can avoid actually having to be a truly functioning member of society just yet. blog time....

Saturday morning the alarm went off early again. This time an hour later than my departure for bike to work day but still early at 5:15am. Thad and Scott M were on their way to my house by bike to meet up and continue on riding to Titan stadium for the annual Tour De Nash. After a brief stop at Troy's, we downed some coffee, tried to get his Eno freewheel removed and then headed on towards downtown. The day was shaping up to be beautiful and already warming up quickly. There were already a ton of people at the start/finish area and the DJ was spinning the tunes. We socialized for a while and tried to figure out the plan for leading the rides. Team Yazoo was set to lead the 50, 27 and 12 mile routes so we needed que sheets and instructions. I was in charge of the 27 and Thad the 12 and John E the 50.

They announced where each ride would line up and people were getting organized. It was apparent this was a HUGE ride and a ton of people came out! (estimated 1800) I snapped some quick photos of everyone lined up. Eddie George gave a great pep talk and told the riders to think about possible bike routes they could take to work while riding the Tour. With gas prices so high he was the only one to tie in the ride with a more continual commitment to bike riding and less driving. They sent the 50 milers off after the speeches and sent each lower mileage group right after the other.

After about 500 yards it was clear that I wasn't leading anything and didn't really serve much of the purpose I thought I would. I was riding a decent, steady pace but was still slowly overtaking some of the riders at the back of the 50 mile group and some of the 27 milers were riding by me wanting to go faster. All the riders intermingled immediately and I just settled in and enjoyed the ride. I kept an eye out for riders with flats or mechanicals and tried to help them. I had to stop and direct traffic for a bit right before the route went into the greenway system. There was one last left turn that was marked on the pavement, but was easy to miss. I almost missed it and many riders in front of me missed it and had to double back so I just decided to hang at the turn and show the way.

After riding alone through most of the greenway, Thad called to say they were done with the ride and would wait for me before heading to see Sharpie at the rest stop he was sponsoring. They had passed me when I was directing traffic and I never caught back up. I met up with a friend from NMB pulling his son and riding with his wife whom I hadn't talked to in ages. I ended up riding the rest of the way back to the stadium with them. It was a lot of fun and there was some great scenery on the route. After rejoining with Thad, Scott and Troy, we rode to Metro Center to visit Sharpie. He had all his Swiftwick gear out and was sponsoring a rest stop on the 50 mile route. He had a smörgåsbords (gotta love spell check) of food and drinks and was passing on the good word about his magic socks.

After hanging for a while we decided to ride back to Green Hills to get Scott home in time to visit his family and Troy wanted to go pick up some garage sale specials he'd purchased during the tour. Yea, Troy's lucky! He spotted three 5 gallon brewing kettles (carboys) during the ride and immediately veered off and purchased them for $5 each. When he drove back to the east side to pick them up, he spotted two panniers for sale for $5 also and snatched them up too! I still don't know how he saw this garage sale while riding. I rode right by it... clearly I wasn't paying much attention.

We hit the brewery store and also got some great Greek food and then headed back to Troy's place to get back on our bikes. We had plans to ride to the Yazoo tap room but it didn't open until 2pm so we had to run errands and kill a few hours first. Now it was after 2pm so we suited back up and rode back downtown. The usual tap room experience was had until Troy said he was going to try to get on the brewery tour that was about to start. I quickly jumped in also and Thad and Dan followed suit. This was one of the highlights of the day. We learned all about how they make beer, saw how small of a room they make all the Yazoo in, realized how hot it gets in there and enjoyed free 1/2 pints of Pale, Dos Peros and Hef. It was grand! Troy was googley-eyed the whole tour, soaking it all in and getting tips on making better home brew.

After the tour we all really wanted some Yazoo ESB. Brian at Yazoo accidentally teased us into thinking they were putting it on tap again but we misunderstood him. We thought about what places in town might have it on tap and decided the Brewhouse on 21st probably had it. We were on a mission now so we set off in search of ESB. Got to the Brewhouse and all ordered it and heard the bad news from our Yazoo ESB. hmmm well 2 Sierra Nevada ESBs, and a Redhook ESB were ordered as well as dinner..... hot wings, hot red beans and rice and two big piles of tortilla, chicken, cheese and more liquid cheese on top. We were all pretty buzzed at this point so laughs abounded and tears flowed. Troy and Thad learned they eat 'too hard' and had to get new forks and I killed everyone with Mojo wings.

Somehow we managed to stay out til 7:30pm before we started to ride back to Troy's. I didn't have front lights and had actually turned them down from Troy before we left his place for the brewery thinking "There's no way we'll be out past dark, it's 2:30pm". Well Thad and I rolled through the back roads of Green Hills at dusk and I pulled into Georgetown condos right as it was really getting dark. Thad had a lonely ride back to the farm but made it in record time... sorry buddy! At least you were well hydrated!

All in all it was a fantastic day outside, riding bikes, hanging with friends and meeting new folks. Props to everyone who helped organize the Tour De Nash. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. Props to Sharpie for sponsoring a slamming rest stop and killing everyone with his witty humor. Props to the Yazoo boys who helped lead rides and who rode with us all day, and to Scott M (sorry for your long ride home!)

Here are some more pics for your enjoyment. I know some peeps don't like to read and just look at the colorful images. (All of my photos can be viewed here: Tour De Nash/Yazoo photos

My buddy Ron on the Greenway, pulling his son

There are hidden growlers at the Brewery

Someone forgot their Walz cap, and someone is happy about it.

The fleet of bikes of people drinking responsibly

The Therminator.... not sure what it does, but Wort goes in and Water comes out..... hmmmm


cornfed said...

3 carboys. And I had a Terrapin Rye Pale Ale. :-)

Great day, wasn't it? We need more "training" rides like that.

Chewieez said...

yea I tried hard to remember what you ordered! You strayed from the ESB plan so it wasn't in the brain.

La Hulsey said...

So, I realized I don't have your e-mail address - you're married??? When did that happen??? Congratulations!!! We should try to meet up for a beer or two in Chicago.

Who links to my website?